The day I read about the theme for this month’s The Spice Is Right I had drank a Singaporean beverage made with shaved ice, condensed milk and rosewater. I remember thinking that there has to be a better way to use rosewater syrup. The drink was sickeningly sweet but I could taste the floral essence of the rosewater and I wanted to try using it in another dish. Then here comes the announcement for the new theme of the The Spice Is Right and I new it was in the stars…
Fereni Starch Pudding
This is an adaptation of a recipe I found online and the author says that this may be eaten during Ramadan, a Muslim fast that lasts a month. It is eaten before the main meal of the night to "break the fast". Could this be where the English word and ritual "breakfast" comes from?
I found this lovely white pudding to stiff and would recommend using half the amount of cornstarch called for in the recipe. Otherwise I liked it and will make it again. The bites of cardamom seeds is the perfect addition to the subtle flavors of this dish. I used the clear colored rosewater in this recipe, which is probably why I could use the amount I did. If using the red colored rosewater syrup, adjust the amount keeping in mind that it is much sweeter than the colorless syrup.
2/3 cup cornstarch
2 cups carabao’s milk (or organic cow's milk)
6 whole green cardamom pods, slightly crushed to open the pods
1/2 cup ground almonds
½ cup rosewater or to taste
1/4 cup blanched slivered almonds (I used sliced almonds)
1/4 cup raw honey
Dissolve corn starch in 1 cup of cold milk. Bring remaining milk to boil with cardamom and ground almonds. Then add corn starch mixture and stir continuously with a whisk. Remove from heat when it starts to thicken and add honey and rosewater. Remove cardamom seeds from the mixture. Squeeze out the black seeds from the cardamom pods and mix seeds into pudding. Pour (I spooned mine into a bowl) it into serving dishes. Garnish with slivered almonds and serve warm or cold.